Best of 2018

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I lava it!!!
Jan 19, 2012
This is my good friend CJ, I often went out with him shooting the lava.

@Yvonne - those pictures are stunning, as is everything you wound up going through! Kudos!
thank you
It was quite the year, but I really hope next year will a bit more normal. I'm done for a while with all the excitement

Deleted User

Deleted User
Aug 5, 2016
Its been a fun year! I got out a lot more than I expected and got to visit quite a few areas new and old. Even played in all four seasons! Good times! To a great 2019 BCP folks! May your adventures be wild, your whiskey be strong, and your spirit run high! Cheers! :twothumbs:











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Jan 17, 2012
I'm still working on choosing my favorite landscape and nature photos of 2018, but I have completed my favorite photos of rock art and ruins in 2018. I will share a couple of my favorite here, and you can see the full list here:

// Ancient Mug

Obviously, the highlight of the year for me was discovering this ancient mug on the Arizona Strip. Since I found the mug in a popular area, it was reported to the BLM Archaeologist and was was safely recovered a few days later. The mug is supposed to be put on display at the BLM Visitor Center in St. George at some point, but it wasn’t there yet when I stopped by in November.

The Langstraat Mug
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

// Emerging Spirits

Over the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed hiking along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in search of colorful archaic pictographs categorized as Grand Canyon Polychrome or Esplanade Style. This year I was finally able to visit the Hades Site and liked how the unusual figures appeared to be emerging from the back of the alcove in this scene.

Emerging Spirits
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

// Messages From The Past

I’ve come across countless handprints during my travels throughout the Colorado Plateau, but when I entered this cave in Canyonlands National Park this line of white handprints really grabbed my attention.

Messages From The Past
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

// The Stellar Panel

It’s not very often that I come across an awesome Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel that I’d never seen or heard of before, but that’s what happened when I visited this panel in Canyonlands National Park early in the year.

The Stellar Panel
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

// Lace Rock Ruin

I’ve visited this particular ruin a couple of times over the years, but this was the first time I feel that I really captured a nice photograph showing off the lace rock (tafoni) to the left of the ruin. We had waited for a while at this ruin for just the right light, and I think it paid off.

Lace Rock Ruin
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

// Buffalo Panel Sunset

I’ve photographed this petroglyph panel in Dinosaur National Monument a few times before, but this evening I liked the transition of the shade at the bottom to the light at the top shortly before sunset. The sunlight was filtering through smoke from a nearby wildfire which gave the light a very warm and interesting color this evening.

Buffalo Panel Sunset
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr
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May 19, 2012
I liked all of them, but the first one is really great.

Yes @blueeyes .... still a month left for the favorites. Having said that, its hard to imagine

better days in 2018, than our Upper Muley Twist hike some weeks ago (still owe a TR) and then yesterday's hike to Salt Creek Canyon. Yesterday will likely be my favorite day of 2018. We waved to a guy in a campground, then we passed his Jeep and a tent and seconds later I slammed the breaks. What did I just see? Some weeks ago it was a bobcat, this time it was a license plate- I recognized it from so many awesome (!) BCP photos and reports. I backed up and sure enough, it was @IntrepidXJ and his wife Diane. Very nice and totally unexpected! I have read so many of his reports, admired so many photos and suddenly we were shaking hands and talking about ancient hands......

We were actually doing yesterday's hike because he highly recommended it in a report. It was truly a spectacular hike, fabulous views and so special to be right in front of ancient hands. Here are a few photos from early on yesterday:

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Year end 2018.... This would be a good time to thank @Nick and everyone who runs & maintains BCP - it's an exceptional website and community. Thank you so much.

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Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
May 5, 2012
A bit of an odd year for me, as I basically went on a backcountry hiatus starting in August to focus on a major work project that continues to keep me preoccupied. That said, not a bad year overall.

Frostbitten at Bryce during the weekend government shutdown.

Wild weather in Whirlpool Canyon while doing Lodore.

Running the silt marathon of the San Juan.

Owl sighting on the way to the Spiral Jetty.

Got up close and personal with the natural wonders of the west desert.

Uranium mine exploration took the place of an aborted Labyrinth run.

An annual May outing to remind myself the Uintas aren't quite open for business just yet...

...but made friends with the resident beaver!

Another few weeks and I made it to the windy summit of Mount Watson.

Scarce little snow remained by July on the Uinta Highline.

Spent two days volunteering in the search for Ray Humpherys.

Late-season shocker in the Uintas as the Murdock Fire crossed the Highline.


Salty ridges... another west desert excursion.

City Edition.

Arch within an arch, somewhere in the west desert.


Formerly Cuberant
Aug 8, 2016
2018 held a bit of frustration for me. After having surgery on both feet on the day after Christmas Day 2017 I was out of commission for several months. I definitely got a late start getting "back on my feet again". All my trips this year would be day hikes. My first real time out was not until July 27th when I headed up the Ruth Lake trail in the Uintas. This would be my first time on that trail and made it past Ruth to the junction with the Lofty Lake trail and back. Was not disappointed with evening light at Ruth Lake with Hayden Peak looming above...


My first lengthy trip would be in August into the Stillwater drainage to Ryder Lake. Ended up being 19.1 GPS miles. It was a hard slog after having been out of commission for so many months but I pulled it off. Although the feet complained significantly I was encouraged!

Ryder Lake on the other side of Hayden Peak...


Out of curiosity I wanted to explore the Bear River Smiths Fork trail to have a look at Cataract Basin. After reaching Cataract Basin Pass I went off trail south along the ridge line separating the East Fork Bear River and West Fork Blacks Fork drainages. I was suprised by the above tree line view of many of the big peaks in the area. I wanted to explore more but ran out of time. Definitely coming back for more.


The highlight for me for 2018 would be the summit of Mt Timpanogos. I did a long loop beginning and ending at the Summit Trailhead. It was a really long day and quite a workout. This hike is amazing!

Recuperating before the last slog up to the saddle then on to the summit...


I made it! You might have noticed a wardrobe change. That will be explained in an upcoming trip report...


My last memorable trip of the year was on the 10th of November along the Uinta Highline Trail to Packard Lake. It was amazing being able to still get into that area this late into the year. Got to see the damage from the Murdock Fire which was pretty sobering but also got to see a lot of beautiful views.

Overlooking the Duchesne River drainage near Packard Lake...



Life really is better Here
Apr 20, 2013
I thought I would have a December trip this year, but coming back from Denver last night with a cold has thwarted that idea. Instead I am watching USU's bowl game. Something I would not have done otherwise, so not the worst.

This was a great year. The weather on trips was usually too good. The magic moments with my family, with friends, with myself were many this year. 26 trip nights was also good. More time in a bag than in a hotel, which was really nice. Maybe I will get in a few more reports on some of those.

Plenty of sandstone this year. Including a midwinter trip to Moab.
Moab 1-20180403-4000.jpg

A few trips on, in or through the Reef.
Death Hollow II Oct 20180112-recipe-4000.jpg

Sunrises galore with golden light.
Death Hollow II Oct 20181419-recipe-4000.jpg

High Deserts
Neon and Escalante 11-20181499-bw-crop-4000.jpg

High Mountains.
Lakes Trail 8-20180247-sun-4000.jpg

Wonderful magic moments.
Naturalist Basin Loop 9-180540-recipe-4000.jpg

Some with kids.
Silver Lake with Kids Pan-smaller proc-4000.jpg

Some without.

Many with friends.
Mill D Desolation 4-20180168-bw-4000.jpg

Sawmill 10-20180240-proc3-4000.jpg

Next year, hoping many more to come. No matter the weather.
Ridge Autumn Leaves 9-20180570-recipe-4000.jpg

Thank you 2018.



Jan 17, 2012
I've gone through my photos and selected my favorites from 2018. You can find the full list here:

// Pastel Swirls

Pastel Swirls
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

I’ve visited Coyote Buttes North on the Paria Plateau numerous times over the years, but while most people mainly go here to visit The Wave and not much else, I prefer to explore and photograph the other amazing sandstone formations found in this area. I truly believe that some of the most colorful sandstone on the Colorado Plateau is found here!

// High Uintas Wilderness Sunset

High Uintas Wilderness Sunset
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

After climbing Kings Peak, the highest mountain in Utah, we were treated to this beautiful sunset in the High Uintas Wilderness during our backpacking trip into Henrys Fork over the long Labor Day weekend.

// Sunset of Smoke

Sunset of Smoke
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

Backpacking into the Weminuche Wilderness through thick smoke with ash raining down on us from the 416 Fire may not have been good for our lungs, but the amazing sunset we witnessed made the trip well worth it! Unfortunately, our backpacking tent would smell like smoke for the next few months, too…

// Stormy Canyonlands Sunrise

Stormy Canyonlands Sunrise
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

I watched this amazing scene unfold in Canyonlands National Park as a storm quickly moved through the area during sunrise. Shortly after taking this photo the storm was right on top of me and I had to retreat back to my Jeep until it passed!

// Chimney Canyon Sunset

Chimney Canyon Sunset
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

It was a very windy day all across the Colorado Plateau, which kicked up a lot of dust into the air to create this colorful sunset over Chimney Canyon in the San Rafael Swell.

// New Mexico Monsoon

New Mexico Monsoon
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

We spent a night in Aztec, New Mexico on our way to Albuquerque for a concert in July and watched a monsoonal lightning storm from the Angel Peak Scenic Area after sunset. It was a beautiful evening.

// Waking Up In The Clouds

Waking Up In The Clouds
by Randy Langstraat, on Flickr

This photo of Diane outside our tent in the clouds near Gore Lake in the Eagles Nest Wilderness after a night full of rain and thunderstorms really sums up this backpacking trip from over the summer.


Love the Mountains!
Mar 1, 2016
I love to look at all the beautiful pictures from the best of 2018. As usual you inspire me to go see more beautiful places and to take better pictures. 2018 was a most excellent year. I was able to go on a couple of trips I have dreamed about. The highlights of the year for me was getting to climb Gannett peak with an awesome group of people and visiting banff, jasper, and yoho with my wife.

Late spring I had some back issues that I was afraid was going going to keep me from my Gannett peak goal. Luckily with the help of a cortisone shot I was able to make the trip. Then in the late fall after many great hiking adventures one of my knees decided it needed a break. I am now resting a torn medial meniscus. However in between those body complaints I was able to go on many exciting adventures in the snow, desert, and the mountains. My favorite things to do are to go backpacking and climb mountains. The best is doing both in the same trip.

Here are some highlights of 2018. My most exciting accomplishment of the year was to climb Gannett peak in July. Something I have dreamed of since seeing it for the first time from the top of Fremont peak in 2016. I was able to go with a fine group of 8 other people. Two of which are my good friends @AbinadiWitness and @peakbagger1971.

Gannett seen from the glacier trail.

Climbing up the beautiful gooseneck glacier

Coming up to the Gannett Ridgeline and looking back at the gooseneck glacier.

Standing on Gannett peak

Enjoying the beautiful views while looking back at Fremont peak.

Then in September I was able to go on a dream trip with my wife to see banff, jasper, and yoho. Wow they are all three quite spectacular. Driving the icefields parkway between banff and jasper was quite a treat.

Here are just a few highlights.

Mountain reflection off the inkpots in banff.

No trip to banff is complete without a lake Louise photo from above.

Moraine lake in banff. We got there late in the day and missed the good lighting but still magnificent.

Bow lake on the Icefields parkway was also spectacular even though we hit it on an overcast day.

The kicking horse river in yoho was also spectacular. This is takakkaw falls.

In September I was able to go on a backpacking trip with my brother and good friend to see sawtooths for the first time. We did the ever popular but extremely beautiful Alice toxaway loop and climbed sunnyside peak.

The beautiful twin lakes from the top of the pass.

Alice lake and the twin lakes seen from sunnyside peak.

After climbing Gannett peak in July I had the opportunity to try and hit Fremont peak in a day in August with a couple of good friends I had climbed Gannett with. One of them being my good friend @AbinadiWitness. We ended up taking longer than 24 hours but dayhiked it with a 2 hour bivy stop on the way out. I was happy to once again look back at Gannett from the top of Fremont after having answered the call to climb Gannett.

Beautiful mountain flowers on the way to Fremont.

Looking back at Gannett from the top of Fremont.

In August I was also happy to hit Kings peak in a day with my good friend @AbinadiWitness.

I was happy to be able to hit Mt Elbert my only Colorado Fourteener this year again with some great friends. I was accompanied by @peakbagger1971 and @AbinadiWitness came to help us out. We went in March and got to snowshoe part of the way. That is the coldest wind I have yet to experience on a peak.

Mt Elbert

Enjoying the views and ferocious cold wind from the top of my Elbert with @peakbagger1971.

I was also happy to finally stand on the top of the broad fork twins for the first time with some good friends. We went up the Robinson variation and came down the standard route.

Standing on west broad fork twin with @peakbagger1971.

In September I got to get in one good snowshoeing trip with @peakbagger1971 before my knee decided it needed a break. We hit unnamed peak 11033 above sundial peak. This was a good feeling of accomplishment as it was the only peak I had set out to hit last year but due to to time and energy in deep powder we didn’t make it all the way to the peak.

View from unnamed peak 11033 looking down at sundial peak.

It was also nice to enjoy some desert dayhikes in Bryce, Zion, Capitol reef, and Escalante.

Upper muleytwist in April was awesome! With my good friend @AbinadiWitness.

And seeing the snow capped Manti la sal’s in October through Jeep arch was also a nice treat.

Here’s to a great 2018 and a better 2019! Thanks again for all the great pictures, reports, and inspiration!


Deleted User

Deleted User
Aug 5, 2016
Here is my 2018 Retrospective video. I do one of these every year. It is amazing to look back at all the places I was able to visit and all the adventures had for the year. 2018 was a good one! Happy New Year everyone! Here's to a great 2019!!!



Jan 24, 2017
Wow... some seriously amazing pics to be sure. Kinda feel like mine could not hold water to some of the ones I have enjoyed in this thread :confused:.

This year was my first full year in Colorado and I had very high aspirations for a full year with plenty of hikes and backpacking. However, other than a good stretch from May through August, it fizzled out. Between work, some issues with my Jeep (thank you Mount Massive), and some personal stuff I just seemed to have a year that faded off.

It was not totally a loss as I did manage to climb a couple of 14ers, get in some nice backpacking and got to pitch my tent in a few awesome locations (couple of them without another soul in sight :)).

Few photos from this year for me:

Odessa Lake

Twin Crater Lakes

Mount Massive

Trail to Ypsilon Lake

Long's Peak


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